The National Indian Gaming Commission’s longest-serving General Counsel member, Michael Hoenig, will depart his position, effective January 27. 

Confirmed by the NIGC’s Chairman, E. Sequoyah Simermeyer, Hoenig departure will see him undertake a new position and become Vice President and Associate General Counsel for Gaming at the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

“Mike’s solution-driven approach helped to institutionalise a number of new practices in the General Counsel’s office,” said Simermeyer. These improvements maximised the skills of legal staff and attorneys and have been important in attracting and building one of the best legal teams the Agency has ever had.

“I am both excited for Mike as he pursues a new and well-deserved opportunity in Indian country. I will miss him as a leader, important contributor to advancing the NIGC mission, and a respected voice in much of the Agency’s innovations in recent years.”

Hoenig joined NIGC in 2006. Over the past 16 years he has taken on various positions in the Agency’s Office of General Counsel, including serving as the General Counsel for the last seven years. 

The responsibilities of the Agency’s General Counsel include serving the client agency’s efforts to help tribes facilitate defensible growth and protection of a vital industry for tribal governments’ economies, while maintaining the public’s trust in the federal agency.

As the agency’s longest-serving General Counsel, Hoenig led the office through critical times in Indian gaming’s history. 

Hoenig, according to NIGC, played an important role in aiding the Council to manage novel issues – recently including sports betting’s rapid expansion, navigating the Agency compliance via multiple audits and handling cyber threats, as well as dealing with the pandemic. 

On his tenure, Hoeing expressed appreciation for the hard work and dedication of his colleagues, fellow attorneys and NIGC staff.

He concluded: “It is with mixed emotions that I depart NIGC. I am sincerely grateful to have been privileged enough to get to serve with the amazing staff to advance the mission and purposes of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act – to protect tribal gaming as one of the most important economic resources in Indian country. 

“I look forward to continuing that mission from a slightly different perspective in this new role with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.”